Two former governors of Oyo State and former FCT minister Oloye Jumoke Akinjide have been barred from travelling out of the country under Executive Order 6 (EO6) issued yesterday by President Muhammadu Buhari.
This followed the judicial affirmation of the constitutionality and legality of the Executive Order 6 (EO6).
The watch-list and restriction were put in place pending the conclusion of the cases against those affected.
Others on the watch list according to a source are: ex-governors Saminu Turaki (Jigawa), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Gabriel Suswam (Benue), Orji Uzor Kalu (Abia), Danjuma Goje (Gombe), Attahiru Bafarawa (Sokoto), Muazu Babangida Aliyu (Niger); Chimaroke Nnamani (Enugu); Sule Lamido (Jigawa); Gbenga Daniel (Ogun); and Ibrahim Shehu Shema (Katsina).
The ex-ministers are Nenadi Usman, Bashir Yuguda; Bala Mohammed; Abba Moro; Femi Fani-Kayode; and Ahmadu Fintiri.
The list also include a former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh; ex- Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral A. D. Jibrin; a former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Mohammed Dikko Umar; a former Inspector-General of Police, Sunday Ehindero; and a former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu; Chairman Emeritus of AIT/ Raypower, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi; Waripamowei Dudafa (a former Special Assistant (Domestic) to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan); a former Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice Innocent Umezulike; a former judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia;
Also on the list are a former National Publicity Secretary of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh; Chief Jide Omokore; Ricky Tarfa; and Dele Belgore (SAN).
The affected persons are currently facing trial for alleged corrupt practices in different courts.
The list was generated from cases and proceedings filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), the Nigeria Police, and 17 other agencies.
The document indicated that many of those affected had earlier been placed on similar legal restrictions by the courts and security agencies including restriction of movement, seizure of passport, temporary forfeiture of assets, freezing of accounts and others.
Criticizing the government’s action in a statement yesterday, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), Mallam Garba Shehu said: “Following the instant judicial affirmation of the constitutionality and legality of the Executive Order 6 (EO6), President Muhammadu Buhari has mandated the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice to implement the Order in full force.
“To this end, a number of enforcement procedures are currently in place by which the Nigeria Immigration Service and other security agencies have placed no fewer than 50 high profile persons directly affected by EO6 on watch-list and restricted them from leaving the country pending the determination of their cases.
“Also, the financial transactions of these persons of interest are being monitored by the relevant agencies to ensure that the assets are not dissipated and such persons do not interfere with, nor howsoever corrupt the investigation and litigation processes.
“It is instructive to note that EO6 was specifically directed to relevant law enforcement agencies to ensure that all assets within a minimum value of N50 million or equivalent, subject to investigation or litigation are protected from dissipation by employing all available lawful means, pending the final determination of any corruption-related matter.
“The Buhari administration reassures all well-meaning and patriotic Nigerians of its commitment to the fight against corruption, in accordance with the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the general principles of the Rule of Law.
“Accordingly, this administration will uphold the rule of law in all its actions and the right of citizens would be protected as guaranteed by the Constitution.
“We, therefore, enjoin all Nigerians to cooperate with the law enforcement authorities towards ensuring a successful implementation of the Executive Order 6 which is a paradigm-changing policy of the Federal Government in the fight against corruption.”
A top government official, who spoke in confidence, said there is no cause for alarm on E06.
The source said: “The ban is not different from the conditions given by the court in granting these accused persons bail. The E06 is like a codification of steps to prevent those on trial for alleged corrupt practices from tampering with assets.
“Some of these accused persons used to go to court for permission before they can travel out of the country. The E06 is not a new thing but instead of all agencies working at cross-purposes, a list was generated and backed with the Executive Order.
“Some of those on trial, especially the Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) had been selling their assets. What will they return after being convicted?”
However, the Peoples Democratic Party PDP has reject the travel ban, says it’s prelude to full-blown fascism, dismissing it as an attempt by the Buhari administration to foist full-blown fascism on the country.
The party’s spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the travel restriction was illegal, draconian and targeted at members of opposition parties, perceived political enemies of President Muhammadu Buhari, well-meaning Nigerians, including members of the business community, religious leaders, former political leaders and traditional rulers, who are perceived to be averse to the President’s re-election bid.
He said: “We hope this is not a ploy to harm certain eminent Nigerians on the claims of resisting travel restrictions.
“The whole world can now see how fascism is fast taking over our democracy and judicial system and how the Buhari administration, by fiat, has directly ordered that citizens be secretly trailed, their movements and financial transactions restricted by government agencies, without recourse to due process of the law.
“While the PDP notes that the Buhari Presidency has gone into panic mode since the popular emergence of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as PDP Presidential candidate and the spontaneous jubilation his emergence has evoked across the country, the party maintains that the resort to total clamp down on the opposition and our supporters will be totally unacceptable.
“What this means is that all Nigerians, particularly, opposition members, members of the business community and religious leaders, have become endangered and stand the risk of state violence under the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.
“The PDP therefore alerts the international community to hold the Buhari Presidency responsible should any harm befall any opposition leader, key members of the business community and religious leaders across country as we march towards the 2019 general elections.”
The PDP maintained that no amount of intimidation, harassment and foisting of fascism will deter Nigerians from their determination to rally on its platform to oust the APC from power next year.